North Carolina

Story of ‘missing’ baby, endangered mother turns out to be fake, police say

Search for missing mother and baby in NC is over; authorities say it was all fake

The search for a missing woman and her infant in N.C. is over after authorities said the whole thing was a hoax designed to get money. The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement Friday night, Feb. 1, 2019.
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The search for a missing woman and her infant in N.C. is over after authorities said the whole thing was a hoax designed to get money. The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement Friday night, Feb. 1, 2019.

Update 11 p.m. Friday, Feb 1: Friday night investigators said the story of the missing mother and baby was a hoax.

Read the full updated story here.

Original story below:

A weeks-old baby is missing in North Carolina and investigators fear the mother may be dead or a victim of human trafficking, according to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office says the mother, known as April Morrison, had been “staying in local motels or hotels, between Richmond County, Scotland County and Fayetteville.” The mother arrived in Richmond County eight months pregnant, according to a Thursday night post on Facebook from the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

The infant is two to three weeks old, the department said.

“We know for a fact that the mother and child have been separated,” Scotland County Sheriff’s Lt. Jessica Sadonikov said during a press conference Friday, according to WPDE.

“Sadonikov says the child was last seen alive in Laurinburg, and was then taken to Rockingham, North Carolina, where the child was believed to then be transported by two unknown males to Cumberland County,” the station reported.

“April gave birth to a female infant child recently, and the infant is believed to be in danger and not in the care of her mother. Our agency has not positively identified the infant, and has reasonable suspicion that April is operating under an alias,” SCSO said on Facebook.

Investigators say the baby was born Jan. 10, ABC11 reports.

They described Morrison as Hispanic, speaking both English and Spanish, “originally from New Jersey who is ‘known to live a transient lifestyle.’ She is believed to be in her mid- to late 20s but may be in her early 30s. She has dark hair and dark eyes,” according to ABC11.

The office said it received a report about the missing baby Thursday.

“April is reported currently as possibly being deceased or having been removed from the Scotland County and or Richmond County Area possibly under fear or coercion,” the department said.

Scotland County investigators say the woman had met some people in the area toward the end of her pregnancy who helped her with “financial and residential support,” WPDE reports.

“Those witnesses provided the image of the infant, which they say was taken Sunday,” the station said.

Scotland County investigators ask anyone who may have information to call 910-266-4332, extension 4.

AMBER, Blue and Silver Alerts are used by local law enforcement to notify the public that someone has gone missing. Here’s what you need to know about what each color code means.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.
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